Reconstructing Camelot: French Romantic Medievalism and the Arthurian Tradition

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Oktober 1995



This book examines French Romantic medievalism through one of its many manifestations, the treatment of the Arthurian legends. Examining works of historiography and literary history, as well as literary texts proper, it assesses the place of the Arthurian material in French culture in the period up to 1860, the date of publication of Edgar Quinet's Merlin l'enchanteur. In so doing, it reveals key features of French Romanticism and traces the origins of some of the problems and contradictions which still affect the practice of medieval studies, the study of medieval literature, and the representation of the Middle Ages. The author argues that the depiction of Arthurian legends in French Romantic writing discloses some of the underlying ideological positions of the movement, such as the division between liberal and royalist views of the Middle Ages and the construction of a French national identity. He also explores the developing tensions between the interests of a general literary public and the ambitions of scholars seeking to define and promote medieval literature as an emerging field of study. In addition to scholars such as Claude Fauriel, Paulin Paris and Francisque Michel, other important figures in French Romanticism are considered, including Edgar Quinet and Michelet.


The ideological background - chivalry, feudalism and romance in the literary critical and historical discourse of the Restoration; the literary background - medieval and Arthurian literature in the Romantic debate in France, 1813-1830; towards the "real" Middle Ages: the status and function of medieval literary scholarship, 1830-1860; in search of national identity - medieval and Arthurian literature in the historical imagination of Quinet, Mechelet and Henri Martin; the bard and the troubadour - the debate on the origins and diffusion of the Arthurian material in French Romantic scholarship; retelling the tale - new versions of the Arthurian material in French literature, 1812-1860.
EAN: 9780859914635
ISBN: 0859914631
Untertitel: 'Arthurian Studies'. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 1995
Seitenanzahl: 202 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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